Byron Allen, Wayne Brady, and Different Enterprise Leaders Discuss Pivoting within the Pandemic and Success Methods at The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit

Byron Allen

The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit continued on Friday with headliners Wayne Brady, an award-winning entertainer and improviser, and Byron Allen, the chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group. Other speakers included Sevetri Wilson, CEO of Resilia, and Moses Shepherd, founder and CEO of ACE Petroleum.

The two-day virtual conference, hosted in partnership with Nationwide, was designed to accelerate the growth, profitability and scalability of black-owned businesses. This year marks the first virtual conference in its 25-year history and includes several new elements, including live chat with speakers and experts, virtual coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities.

During a fireplace chat, Brady revealed how he has benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought the world to a standstill. Instead of waiting to present his sketch and series ideas to a network, he used social media as a tool to produce his own content. After being bumped into by his 17-year-old daughter, he created his first TikTok video, which drew over 1 million viewers. He then made more videos about his production company, which helped him secure a network deal with CBS as well as some advertising deals.

"The pandemic sucks, don't get me wrong, but it brought that entrepreneurial spirit to life in me," Brady said. "And in six months it has given me so many blessings."

The host of Let's Make A Deal added that he also learned how to use social media from internet personalities like King Bach for mainstream success. "You're never too old to learn a new trick or a new rush."

During another keynote chat, Allen spoke about his transition from a stand-up comedian to an actor at NBC and eventually a business owner. According to Allen, a contract dispute he had during the hit show Real People motivated him to become a media owner.

"I wanted to get paid in the third year what my white colleagues did in the first year and they didn't," Allen said.

He also spoke about the importance of supporting and funding black-owned media.

"I told the advertising community," You are racist. You are extremely racist. "I go to your advertising agencies and all you have there are white kids who don't know about Black History Month or Black Music Month," Allen said. "I said," You spend $ 150 billion a year (but) you don't spend on black-owned media, and so black-owned media doesn't exist, doesn't exist, and it's almost extinct. "

On Thursday, powerhouse entrepreneurs Nick Cannon and John Hope Bryant were among the directors who opened the summit and shared insights and strategies for business owners to navigate the market during this time of uncertainty. During a fireplace chat, Cannon, a celebrated entertainer and founder of NCREDIBLE Entertainment, spoke about his roots in entrepreneurship and on television.

. @ NickCannon on his business role models like Harry Belafonte and Quincy Jones and his admiration for how they changed culture.

Register for the #BEsummit at to see the full Fireside Chat with Nick Cannon sponsored by @Nationwide

– Black Enterprise (@blackenterprise) November 13, 2020

“I was a born entrepreneur. I call it an Entreper Trainer now, ”said Cannon, who owns Fox & # 39; The Masked Singer as well as MTV / VH1's Wild N & # 39; Out produced and moderated, which was temporarily canceled by parent company ViacomCBS earlier this year due to his anti-Semitism remarks. Before Cannon was originally picked up by MTV, he used his own resources to direct and produce Wild N & # 39; Out. "It's about investing in your vision," he said. “That goes back to passion. That goes back to – even if others can't see the seed you own, you'll have to plant it in the ground yourself. "

Cannon also spoke about his business role models, citing Harry Belafonte and Quincy Jones and his admiration for how they changed culture. "

During a fireside chat, Hope Bryant, the founder of Operation HOPE, spoke about his partnership with Shopify to develop 1 million black businesses.

@ JohnHopeBryant recently announced a groundbreaking with @Shopify to develop 1 million black-owned businesses in five years.

How it works and how you can get involved! Apply today at! #BEsummit

– Black Enterprise (@blackenterprise) November 12, 2020

During the Capitalizing on Cultural Currency and Social Influence session, Alex Wolf, an award-winning technology, culture and business influencer, and Travis Weekes, the founder and managing partner of the Driven Society, shared the secret of monetizing social media and consumption of cultural influence to build your brand and your business.

Tech and Culture Influencer, @alexwolfco, and Driven Society Brand Manager, Travis Weekes, on the future of influencer marketing.

Register for the #BEsummit at to see the full panel Capitalization of Cultural Currency and Social Influence.

– Black Enterprise (@blackenterprise) November 12, 2020

In addition to the host sponsor of the Entrepreneurs Summit, Nationwide, the partners also present the sponsor J.P. Morgan Wealth Management; Platinum sponsor Microsoft; and corporate sponsors like Amazon Web Services, Comcast, FedEx, Rémy Martin, and Walmart.